I cannot seem to get past the seeming coldness or indifference of strangers and acquaintances

I seem to be fixated on the same old recurring theme–and I guess it’s my personal hump to get over. Whatever it is, it is the block that is keeping me from living my life in a wholesome and happy way. And it is this: I cannot seem to get past the seeming coldness or indifference of strangers and acquaintances. I was wondering if you could relate because it might be something you went through at one time–and specifically what measures you took to get around it. I keep experimenting in these flimsy little ways, and of course I have no success. I think my method over the years was to strive to be colder and even more indifferent than them—beat them at their own game, if you will. A disaster story! Right now the only logical approach I can think of is to accept that the coldness and indifference that I see is a natural product of an aggressive and highly stressed society. And maybe just shake my head in knowingly and do my best to be one person who does not spread that coldness and indifference around. I will confess that a lot of the reason why this is all so troubling for me is that I don’t have a protective and loving network to cushion the coldness of the outside world. I keep putting myself in overwhelming situations (the most recent being making a cold move to a whole new city where I know about 3 people and they are not supportive the way I need to be supported). That last sentence sums up my troubled pattern very well–I use poor judgement when it comes to environment and significant relationships.



  1. I too moved to a new city (3000 miles away) when I recognized that there was no longer meaning in my life and that my life was not changing despite my unending efforts. I also had just 3 friends in the new city who tried to support me, but could only do so much.

    What happened? Things started to spiral downward and for the first time in my life, I was forced to seek professional help. This turned out to be major step for me — asking for help and receiving kindness, wisdom, and a positive slant on everything I viewed so negatively(myself).

    It took courage for us to move to new place. Changing one’s environment is one of the keys to making life changes (as I later learned).

    I would say that you have very good judgement and did what was best for you.

    I also experienced difficulty in making friends and began going to every group I could think of. I began ballroom dancing again, tried many different churches, spiritual seminars, relationship seminars, etc. etc. etc.

    I still found it difficult to make lasting friendships but at the same time, I found many interesting people who I enjoyed eating lunch with and getting to know better.

    I feel making true, lasting friendships happens rarely and that they must be treasured.

    To make a long story short, moving to a new city turned out to be one of the best things I ever did for myself and I do not regret any of the pain and suffering it took to find my way to happiness and wholeness.

    The best advice I can offer is to continue to explore yourself. Observe yourself as much as possible in all different situations. Learn to detach your thoughts from your actions. Realize that negative thoughts are not really you. Practice, practice, practice until you are comfortable saying what you feel in a group situation and truly being the wonderful person that you are.

  2. Thank you for your insight and the more positive take on my situation. What you said made me realize that perhaps part of my problem is that I expect many of my associations to be close and intimate—because that is how I prefer to relate. When it doesn’t happen, or when I come across people I cannot relate to on that level, I start to feel discouraged. I know sometimes a change in attitude begins with simple acceptance of what is real. Reality in this case is that close, close friendships don’t come easily to anyone. Thanks for reminding me of that. I only hope that I forge one or two close friendships where I’m really in sync with the person. I remember I had this in college and the result was that I was able to comfortably branch out and enjoy a lot of acquaintances and activities because I felt safe and confident. I hope to recreate this again!I have a question about the professional help. I have a few obstacles—one being extremely low finances right now. The other being mistrust of therapy due to three failed attempts in the past. The people were simply wrong for an highly sensitive person. I also attend al-anon where a lot of people have suggested that Program had helped them where therapy couldn’t….I wonder if this would be true for me. I’ve had an al anon renaissance after many years of inner resistance because the group sharing aspect of it felt too unsafe. But of late, because I better understand who I am, attending meetings is a lot less daunting. Do you think I can make headway on just a spiritual step program—or is therapy a necessity in your opinion?

  3. Maybe both. Safe groups are wonderful and give you a chance to explore expressing yourself to many people.Therapy is a chance to explore your inner thoughts and feelings and receive compassion and wisdom.

    Perhaps there are ways to lower the cost (insurance sometimes pays part, therapist often set price based on ability to pay).

    You will know what is right for you now. The important thing is to do something, to move forward.

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